Monthly Archives: January 2014

Details on Donnie Ferneau’s new Little Rock spot, The Still

Details on Little Rock chef Donnie Ferneau’s new place popped up in a strange spot recently: The auction booklet for the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s Saints & Sinners gala.

Donnie Ferneau

Donnie Ferneau

From the booklet:

“…’soon-to-be-opened’ dining mecca, THE STILL by Donnie Ferneau! Chef Ferneau’s newest culinary offering will feature Contemporary Southern Spa cuisine (Southern food massaged to perfection!) THE STILL will also feature sophisticated ’60s decor ala Breakfast at Tiffany’s and attentive Southern Service. The only Dress Code will be ‘For Men Only’ as Chef Ferneau says, ‘Because women always know how to dress for dinner!’ ”

Forgive the all caps and exclamation marks…they weren’t mine.

So what have we learned? The restaurant will be called The Still. Southern cuisine. Throwback decor.

Stay tuned for more details…

 … Read more >

Big Orange team to open Little Rock brewery ‘Lost 40’

A new brewery is set to join the Big Orange/Local Lime restaurant group

A new brewery is set to join the Big Orange/Local Lime restaurant group

Local beer in Little Rock is getting another big win:

Yellow Rocket Concepts, the team behind Big Orange, Local Lime and ZaZa is working on a new venture, Lost 40 Brewing Company.

Owned by Scott McGehee, John Beachboard and Russ McDonough, the Yellow Rocket restaurants all focus on craft brews, so it’s not a huge surprise that they’d branch off into brewing their own.

A few details: The brewery will start as a 30-barrel brewhouse located in downtown Little Rock. The brewery will be run by master brewer (and former LR resident) Omar Castrellon, who was most recently at Thr3e Wise Men Brewery in Indianapolis.

Lost 40 is set to open late summer or early fall this year and will include tours and a tap room on-site. The brews will also be available in the Yellow Rocket family restaurants, and distributed to other restaurants across Arkansas.

An email from the group also noted that they are planning new concepts in the works for 2014 and 2015, including new locations of the existing concepts (Local Lime II, anyone?).

Is the Yellow Rocket group taking over the world? Possibly. … Read more >

Is Riverfront Steakhouse one of the best in America?

Riverfront Steakhouse | Arkansas Democrat-Gazette File

Riverfront Steakhouse | Arkansas Democrat-Gazette File

Another day, another Little Rock spot making a list on the internet somewhere.

This time, it’s Thrillist–

and online food/drink/travel/culture website–giving props to North Little Rock’s Riverfront Steakhouse. They named the spot one of the ‘Best Steakhouses in America.’

I’ve never eaten there, so it’s hard for me to judge.

Fill me in. Does Riverfront Steakhouse deserve to be among the best?… Read more >

Cocktail lovers rejoice: Pink House Alchemy available in Little Rock

Ginger shrub from Pink House Alchemy

Ginger shrub from Pink House Alchemy

For the love of all things local, there is a new option for cocktail lovers in Little Rock. Fayetteville-based Pink House Alchemy is now stocking some of their syrups and shrubs at Dandelion in the Arcade Building in River Market.

I’ve been dying to try more of their goods after interviewing owner Emily Lawson for an upcoming article. I picked up a bottle of the ginger shrub and was not disappointed.

What is a shrub, exactly? Made with botanicals or fruit, shrubs are a type of vinegar-based aged cocktail syrup. The ginger version is creamy and tangy and a little spicy. A spoonful goes a long way and mixes well with rum or bourbon to add a mellow sweetness and fun dimension without overpowering the drink. Can’t wait to play with a few mixes this weekend. Next on my list? The Pink House pineapple-rosemary shrub, which is a killer pairing for tequila.

Pick up the February issue of Arkansas Life for my full story on Pink House and a few recipes. And in the mean time, stop by Dandelion. It smells ah-maz-ing.

 … Read more >

No booze unused: Recipes for your leftover spirits stash

06_boozydesserts_websmall

Photo by Arshia Khan

This article first appeared in the January issue of Arkansas Life magazine. Read it in full here.

 

Half-hearted resolutions and a killer headache aren’t the only things New Year’s Eve leaves behind.

A wave of holiday guests can also leave a graveyard of half-empty bottles in its wake. Whether it’s a pint of whiskey when you prefer white wine, or an overabundance of Kahlua and creme de menthe that will likely stay bottled up until the next holiday party, January can mean a crowded shelf of leftover liquor.

All those bottles can be an especially tricky situation for hosts who don’t drink. Little Rock pastry chef Zara Abbasi, who currently whips up the desserts at Natchez, doesn’t drink alcohol, but includes wine and liquor in many of her dishes.

Photo by Arshia Khan

Zara Abbasi | Photo by Arshia Khan

Recipes:

Kahlua Fudge

This is an easy and versatile recipe that’s great for Valentine’s Day gifts in pretty packages,” says Abbasi.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

2 3/4 cups chocolate chips

1/2 cup liqueur of choice (something thicker like Bailey’s or creme de menthe is good here)

5-6 teaspoons of Dutch cocoa… Read more >

Not so secret: Forbes singles out Little Rock food scene

Little Rock has made another national list.

This time, Forbes Travel Guide has included our fair city among their ‘Five Secret Foodie Cities.’ Also on the list are Minneapolis, MN; Columbus, OH; Boulder, CO; and Asheville, NC. Not bad company.

The writer specifically points to Ashley’s chef Joel Antunes, the food at Ciao Baci, the pizza at ZaZa and barbecue at Whole Hog as reason enough to make a visit.

What else should have made it into their description of the food scene here? Probably South on Main and Natchez, for starters.

Read the entire Forbes post here.Read more >

Pantry to open second location, Rocket 21 moves

Just a few weeks into 2014 and we’re already seeing Little Rock restaurants making some big moves.

In case you missed it, Rocket 21 has vacated its old location on Markham for new digs in the Wyndham in North Little Rock. According to Rocket 21’s new website, the location will be open around January 10 with the same menu and same chefs as the old location.

The site also mentions a new concept heading for the old Markham location which will apparently be revealed in February.

And if you’re hearing rumors that a new location of the beloved West Little Rock outpost Local Lime is heading for the old Rocket 21 spot, keep dreaming. A spokesperson for Local Lime confirmed that while the group had looked at the space last fall, a deal is officially off the table. But at least they were looking, which gives us hope for Local Lime II to eventually be a reality.

The Pantry will be opening a second location in the space formerly known as The House

The Pantry will be opening a second location in the space formerly known as The House

Speaking of restaurant sequels, one rumor that did turn out to be very true? The Pantry, located on Rodney Parham, will be opening a Read more >

How hot is too hot? The Source taste test

Spicy food lovers, take note: Sync’s Spicy Foods issue will hit stands Wednesday, Jan. 8.

What all did we eat? Thanks to reader suggestions, our to-try list was long including wings at Tavern Sports Grill, the Shut up Juice BBQ Sandwich at Mean Pig BBQ, the Atom Bomb Burger at Big Orange, a Volcano Roll at Sushi Cafe, some Hot and Sour Soup at Chi’s, the Beef Vindaloo at Star of India, and order of Gus’ Fried Chicken and the Texas Two-Step Margarita at Local Lime, among others.

To cap off a few weeks of setting our mouths on fire, Editor Nate Olson decided to try a toothpick-full of the notoriously painful ‘The Source’ hot sauce. You can read about it here, but basically one drop of this stuff is enough to heat 100 pots of chili. Or something. Check out the video of Nate taking a taste below. Oh, and lest you think his reaction was mild, know that for the text two hours his mouth and lips were on fire.
Read more >